Digital Preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - A Case Study

Saviour Mantey, Naa D. Tagoe


In the past, preservation of cultural heritage sites was primarily undertaken using techniques such as painting, photography using still cameras and lithography to extract two dimensional (2D) records. Today, technologies such as aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, laser scanning and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) have made it possible to digitally preserve cultural heritage sites through the creation of Digital Surface Models (DSM), orthophotos and 3D realistic models that are true to scale. The advent of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technology is a source of 3D data for preserving cultural heritage sites. In Ghana and many developing countries, these heritage sites are not well maintained, neither have they been digitally preserved. The main reasons why these sites are not preserved is because most of the modern techniques of preserving cultural heritage sites are expensive and time consuming. There is therefore the need to adopt a low-cost but relatively fast technique such as UAV Technology for the preservation of cultural heritage sites. This research thus applied UAV technology to digitally preserve Fort William in Anomabo, Ghana by creating a 3D Model, Digital Surface Model and Orthophoto. A 3D Model, a Digital Surface Model and orthophoto of Fort William in Anomabo was successfully generated using UAV technology. This research recommends that the UAV technology should be adopted to digitally preserve cultural heritage sites.


UAVs, GNSS, Heritage Sites, Orthophotos, Anomabo, Fort William

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